With as many as 55 percent of apparel executives reporting that using sustainable raw materials is one of their first- or second-biggest sustainability priorities, according to Sourcing Journal’s 2020 Circularity Survey Report sponsored by Cotton Incorporated, the onus is on textile developers and manufacturers to ensure that brands can access these fabrics.
In order to deliver on this need for sustainability within the apparel industry, World Textile Sourcing (WTS) proudly offers a sustainable product strategy that includes renewable and recycled fibers in an effort to achieve circularity and a closed-loop production cycle.
The company’s commitment to sustainability and traceability begins at the start of the supply chain and the cultivation of its fibers, and WTS maintains ethical production practices throughout the entire manufacturing process.
One such project comes from the company’s partnership with cotton supplier Bergman Rivera. The companies are embarking on the first pilot of regenerative organic cotton certified in Peru.
Every 1,000 units regenerated will translate to one acre of soil saved for the future, with the goal of contributing to the reversal of climate change. While WTS is still evolving, Peru is the most advanced country in regenerative farming due to long-term cultural commitment to regenerative practices.
Now, this regeneration process is held up by official standards. The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) released its standard for Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) products in August 2020 after the completion of a pilot program in 2019, giving the WTS/Bergman Rivera collaboration an even greater sense of legitimacy.
By choosing an ROC product, consumers can know at a glance that their purchase supports farm workers, soil health and pasture-based animal welfare. The new certification also has three levels—bronze, silver, and gold—which require farms and businesses to phase in more rigorous regenerative organic practices over time.
Before being eligible for ROC, farms must first hold USDA organic certification. ROC then adds further criteria to ensure soil health, animal welfare and social fairness, making it the highest standard for organic agriculture in the world.
Soil health initiatives includes organic/no GMO’s, cover crops, crop rotations, compost and intercropping, while social fairness includes fair payments for farmers, democratic organizations, freedom of association, good living conditions and long-term commitments.
WTS also partners with suppliers and clients to promote the use of cotton in conversion—cotton grown on land which has only recently been converted to organic methods—which can incentivize and enable farmers to transform their land and adopt sustainable farming methods. Supporting these sustainability initiatives encourages farmers to regenerate their soil without being burdened by the financial risk and lower yields experienced during the transitional period. It also provides supplementary supply to fill the demand for organic cotton. WTS is committed to working with farmers in Peru as they toil to regenerate the earth.
WTS is proud partners with Lenzing, sourcing the highest quality TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal fibers. Through Lenzing, WTS also works with REFIBRA™ technology. REFIBRA™ technology upcycles a substantial portion of pre- and post-consumer cotton waste, where the raw material is transformed to produce new virgin TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers. The company leverages REPREVE™ recycled performance fiber as well, which is used to make sustainable textiles with wicking, odor control, water resistance and more. These unique processes give waste, which would otherwise be sent to landfills, a second chance.
WTS offers pre-treated cationic cotton fiber, an intelligent and eco-friendly solution to cotton dyeing which significantly reduces water and energy usage.
To ultimately help brands achieve their sustainability goals, WTS participates in various collaborative initiatives with other industry experts. WTS is a proud member of Textile Exchange and BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) and is a signatory of the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, which encourages industry leaders to source 100 percent of their cotton from the most sustainable inputs by the year 2025. Brands and suppliers joining the challenge can choose from Textile Exchange’s organic and preferred cotton alternatives.
WTS is supporting Textile Exchange’s Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark program to document their progress.
Learn more about World Textile Sourcing (WTS) at WTS.com.pe.